I ran across a company called Warby Parker during a meeting that Assemblyman David Bobzien from Reno was also attending. He was wearing a pair of swell glasses with some serious retro styling, and I told him so. He replied, “Warby Parker. You don’t know about Warby Parker?” And with that, off I went exploring the Internet for Mr. Parker.
While we don’t usually do “fashion” pieces in the Preservation Press, we thought that the retro look of many of the Warby Parker specs as well as their support of Architecture for Humanity brought them into our area of interest.
As it turns out Warby Parker isn’t a real person (but it would be a cool name!), but instead is a blend of two of Jack Kerouac’s character names: Zagg Parker and Warby Pepper. Many of Warby Parker’s glasses and sunglasses have the cool styling of mid-century eyewear. From the Holcomb’s and Ripley’s cat eye styling to the Burke’s and Ames’ straight browline, there are a lot of fabulous retro options. You can also choose from several colors for each frame. Just look at the number of dots under a frame on the main page and you can see the number of color options for each! Neat!
And you should know: They make a MONOCLE!
Apart from having lots of cool retro frames to choose from, there are at least three other reasons to shop with Warby Parker:
- Glasses (not just frames) start at $95
- You can use their free Home Try-On program
- They (in their words) Do Good
Yup! Their glasses start at only $95! And according to their website, these aren’t the cheapo lenses. They are polycarbonate, anti-reflective, polarized lenses. You can spend more than $95, but some excellent frames can be found at this lower price point. We particularly like the Kimball for women and the Wiloughby for men.
But buying glasses off the Internet is difficult if you can’t try them on first. So Warby Parker developed a Home Try-On program. In order to see how it really works, we decided to give it a try. My husband, Scott, is looking for some prescription sunglasses. He perused the Warby Parker website, picked out five frames that he liked, and put in his Home Try-On order.
Within a few days, a Warby Parker box arrived at our house. It arrived in a smart box and inside were five individually packed glasses frames. The program gives you five days so you can try on the frames for you and your friends. They also provide you with a card for taking notes on each frame and a return label for sending them back. When you’ve tried them and decided on a pair, you pack up all five frames, return them to their box, affix the label, and drop them off at the nearest post office. Easy!
Ordering your Warby Parkers is equally easy. On their website, simply put your selected frames into your shopping cart and the site will step you see the rest. You will be prompted to choose if you need prescription glasses, reading glasses, or nonprescription lenses. If you select prescription glasses, you can upload a picture of your written prescription or have Warby Parker call your optometrist. Your new swanky specs will arrive in just under two weeks for prescription glasses and in about a week for nonprescription eye-wear.
And, lastly, Warby Parker does good in the world. For every pair of glasses that are bought, Warby Parker gives a pair of glasses to people in need. According to their website, they have distributed 500,000 such glasses. In addition, Warby Parker supports Architecture for Humanity through the sale of two of their frames: Aslin and Fowler. A portion of each purchase goes to this group that has provided professional design and management services to areas that are in need of architectural assistance. Architecture for Humanity has done work on Haiti’s reconstruction, rebuilding after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, helped with the Hurricane Sandy reconstruction, and the list goes on.
We have been quite taken with Warby Parker around here. They provide a quality product at a fair price and help out others in need. So when you are in need of a good pair of stylish retro glasses, give Warby Parker a go and know that you are doing more than making yourself look good!
Disclosure: This is not a paid advertisement. The Nevada Preservation Foundation is getting no “spiff” from Warby Parker to do this piece. We just plain think they are swell.